Abstract

We have determined Lu–Hf garnet ages from spatially separated garnet bearing localities in northern Idaho. The Lu–Hf ages are diverse and reflect a progression of Mesoproterozoic metamorphic events. The oldest Lu–Hf garnet age determined in this study is 1463 ± 24 Ma for garnet within a kyanite schist exposed in the core-zone of the Boehls Butte metamorphic complex. A garnet schist from the Priest River complex yields a well-defined age of 1379 ± 8 Ma. A garnet–staurolite schist, a garnet–mica schist, and a gem-grade Idaho star garnet sample all from the general vicinity of Clarkia, Idaho, yield ages of 1064 ± 10, 1081 ± 20, and 1078 ± 17 Ma, respectively. A garnet amphibolite, also collected from the Boehls Butte metamorphic complex, yields an age of 1151 ± 41 Ma for garnet porphyroblasts and 137 ± 25 Ma for diffuse overgrowths. The Hf in all of the Proterozoic garnets is extraordinarily radiogenic with εHf values ranging from +1210 to +10546, which attest to both their high Lu/Hf ratios and their great antiquity. All of the samples analyzed in this study are from the rocks of the Mesoproterozoic Belt–Purcell Supergroup or its basement. These data provide evidence of polymetamorphism in northwestern Laurentia during the Mesoproterozoic.

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